Six Key Points on How To Best Market to In-House Counsel Today

Presentation Review: Panel - "Pushing Through the Noise — What Gets the Attention of General Counsel and Business Executives"

Panelists: Alison Wisniewski, Ezgi Kaya, Kristen Albertson, Mark N. Klein, Maria Feeley

Summary by Rachael Schilling, Marketing Manager, Liskow & Lewis

A panel moderated by Heather Nevitt with ALM included in-house counsel from Walmart Stores, Inc., Amazon, Burford Capital, Epic, and the University of Hartford. The group gave insight, based on their personal experiences, into what efforts get the attention of general counsel. Keep reading for a summary of 6 topics that may change the conversations you have around marketing to in-house counsel. 

1. Hiring outside counsel.

There was agreement around three main approaches to hiring outside counsel: relationships, referrals, and “Preferred Vendor” lists. Panelists also mentioned finding counsel through published content, a law firm website, or by referring to representation and results for similar cases.

2. Rankings.

Rankings, such as Chambers, Best Lawyers, and Super Lawyers, were only considered to be of importance for verification purposes.

3. RFPs and Pitches.

The following is looked-for in RFPs and pitches:

  • Depth of experience in the area of interest
  • Rates/AFAs (if this is bet-the-company litigation, experience outweighs rates)
  • Experience with opposing counsel
  • Strategy

4. Diversity & Inclusion.

Diversity was a reoccurring topic. The following comments were made about diversity in law firms:

  • If similarly situated firms pitch for work, the decision may come down to which team is more diverse. 
  • Firms should communicate diversity initiatives, such as flexible work time programs and recruiting efforts. 
  • Some panelists actively monitor billing to be sure pitched diverse members are actually working on their files and are receiving significant work opportunities.
  • When asked about the importance of firms collecting personal information, such as LGBTQ and disability statistics, one panel member responded, “firms need to get onboard.”

5. Communications.

The panelists agreed that they are likely to read a blog/alert if it is sent to them directly and it is timely. They will keep reading if it’s easy to digest and is of quality.

6. What gets a firm fired?

A lack of responsiveness was the agreeing issue amongst the panel for what gets firms fired. 

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